Washington: Issaquah

How Issaquah grew from a village to a sprawling suburb and still maintained its charm


Washington: Issaquah

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by kylebarber on January 21, 2001

Issaquah, which is about a half hour east of Seattle, was once considered the sleepy backwoods of King County where few people lived or even ventured. Now it's a highly popular residential area that serves as a gateway to the true "sticks", the affluent mountain villages and towns straddling I-90.

But to call Issaquah merely a gateway is unfairly selling it short. The town has many unique shops, restaurants and attractions that it qualifies as a worthy destination all on its own. If you can avoid the large shopping complex built around the local Costco you'll still be able to discover the unique charms of this alpine village inspired community. ${QuickSuggestions} ${BestWay} You'll probably want to have a car for getting around the area, though the downtown section of Issaquah is not hilly and well suited for bike riding.


Boarding House

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by kylebarber on January 22, 2001

The Boarding House restaurant has been popular since I was a child, drawing large crowds on weekend afternoons to the old-fashioned cafe. Housed in an old 1920's three-peaked roof home, the well lit country cottage seems to be trapped in limbo, not quite of our time. Meals are served in old ceramic bowls on heavy wooden trays and the decorations look as if they might have been part of the original home.

But the food at the Boarding House is the real reason to visit. Homemade sandwiches and soups are top notch in quality, garnering plenty of repeat business. But what I love more than anything there is the homemade apple crisp, that is plenty fresh and quite tart in taste.

Boarding House Restaurant
317 NW Gilman Blvd
Seattle, Washington, 98027
(425) 392-1100

Cucina! Cucina!

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by kylebarber on January 22, 2001

Yes, it's a chain. But the food at Cucina! Cucina! is consistently good, and the waitstaff are generally polite and quick. Families will like taking their kids, as they can draw all over the tabletops with crayons and the desserts are pretty good. There's nothing particularly daring about their pasta and meat dishes, but I'm always happy when I stop in for lunch or dinner. I really like their barbeque chicken pizza, but can't figure out why everyone besides me is crazy about cilantro.
Cucina Italian Cafe
901 Fairview Avenue Northwest
Seattle, Washington, 98109
(206) 447-2782

Gilman Village

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by kylebarber on January 22, 2001

Gilman Village was created in 1972 when local residents tried to think of a way to preserve some of the town's historic homes that were no longer inhabited. 28 such buildings were clustered together to form an outdoor mall that houses shops and restaurants that reflect the area's spirit.

There are no retail chains present, just unique stores that are owned and operated by folks from the community. White Horse Toys and the Country Mouse are popular shops that feature local handiwork, and the Made in Washington store is great for buying quality souvenirs that will be appreciated rather than stowed away in a closet.

Gilman Village
317 Northwest Gilman Blvd
Issaquah, Washington, 98027
+1 425 392 6802

Sammamish State Park

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by kylebarber on January 22, 2001

Lake Sammamish is a rather large body of water that lies over in the east side of King County, providing much of the scenic views throughout the Issaquah area. The beach along its shoreline is quite popular in the summertime, though some visitors may wonder why locals think it's hot enough to take a dip in the lake.

A number of non-motorized water sports rentals are available, and quite a few families seem to use the park for picnics and gatherings along the immense area along the shore. A fun playground is available for the kids that will keep them busy if the water turns out to be too cold.

Lake Sammamish State Park
20606 Southeast 56th St
Issaquah, Washington, 98027
+1 425 455 7010

Issaquah Salmon Hatchery

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by kylebarber on January 22, 2001

The popular salmon hatchery in Isaquah helps keep local salmon populations healthy by aiding in the spawning process. While this may not sound all that interesting, over 300,000 guests come each year to watch the fish struggle up the "ladder", a series of underwater concrete steps that are designed to stimulate the natural uphill battle salmon face before reproducing. Though the facility is open year round, you'll need to arrive in the autumn to witness the fish arriving at the hatchery and spawning.
Issaquah Salmon Hatchery
125 West Sunset Way
Seattle, Washington, 98027
(425) 391-9094

http://www.igougo.com/journal-j4729-Seattle-Washington_Issaquah.html

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